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Details about  Nektar Technologies Panorama P4 Advanced USB MIDI Controller

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Nektar Technologies Panorama P4 Advanced USB MIDI Controller
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Item condition:
Mar 16, 2014
US $499.99
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Middletown, New York, United States


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Last updated on  Mar 15, 2014 15:03:23 PDT  View all revisions

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Nektar Technologies Panorama P4 Advanced USB MIDI Controller

OUR PRICE: $499.99

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Nektar Technologies Panorama P4 Advanced USB MIDI Controller


A spectacular, deep Reason implementation and vast programming options, 
puts the spotlight on performance and creativity. Keyboard and pads are dynamic, 
sensitive and balanced carefully with a solid feel that allows for complete expression. 
All this, combined with 93 real-time controls available at any one time, 
makes Panorama the definitive keyboard controller for Reason.
Panorama's keyboard action uses weights to offset the otherwise increasing tension you would experience from the spring. This means the down movement
is as clean as possible and not heavy or fatiguing to play. We keep the down weight required within the heavy end of common standards for acoustic pianos. In addition, the dynamic range is much wider than what you experience on most controller keyboards allowing better control of both low and high velocity values. 5 velocity curves gives you choice just in case your playing style requires a different feel. Monophonic aftertouch, pitch bend and modulation wheels, plus foot switch and expression pedal jacks sets you up for performance. Learn more
A crystal clear 3.5" color TFT display delivers the information you really need, for each mode or menu. Regardless of whether you are operating Reason or programming MIDI assignments in Internal mode, the display provides detailed information that makes your workflow fluent and fast. Panorama takes the hard work out of using a controller and makes operations that seem complicated and non-transparent on other products, straight-forward and simple.
An unrivalled amount of assignable controls makes Panorama the most comprehensive and fully featured MIDI controller keyboard around. 16 encoders, 9 45mm faders, 1 100mm motorized ALPS fader, 10 LED buttons, 28 buttons, 12 pads each with strike and pressure component, foot switch jack, expression pedal jack, keyboard after touch, pitch bend and modulation wheels gives you immediate control of up to 93 parameters at any one time. You can store settings in 20 presets with individually save and loadable keyboard, pad and F-keys maps. We could argue that it gives you access to over 1500 assigned controls, 
but that would be spinning it too far. 
For a Reason user, Panorama is a dream come true. The dedicated communication protocol ties Panorama and Reason tightly together so all you have to do is select the mode and menu you want to control. Panorama does the rest. 3 Reason modes allows you one button press to switch between controlling the Mixer, Device (instrument or effects) and Transport, with the 4th mode, Internal, free to control your ReWired DAW.
It's hard to go places without transport so Panorama features an extended 11 button transport bar, positions right where you need it controlling: Return to L, Forward to R, Undo, Click on/off, Record Mode, Cycle on/off, Back, Forward, Stop, Play and Record. Using the shift button, these also double up as 11 function buttons each assignable to MIDI commands or QWERTY macro's.
So QWERTY macro's...... big deal, right? That's right, its a VERY big deal. Your software has a ton of features and functions that can be activated using QWERTY shortcut commands. Assigning a command to a button so you don't have to be near your computer makes life a lot easier. Assigning a string of up to 8 commands takes it to another level. With this powerful feature you could for example enter edit mode, zoom in and select a tool with just one button press. 
Or create an instrument or effects track and locate a folder containing your presets so you can select them from Panorama, all with one button press and without looking at your computer.
The motorized 100mm touch-sensitive ALPS fader gives you pro-console mixer channel control when operated with Reason. Watch the fader move when you change tracks and just move it to change volume. Two LED buttons controls Solo and Mute so no matter what mode you operating Panorama in, you always have pro-console control within reach. 
Playing drums or percussive parts on a keyboard can be a challenge, but luckily on Panorama you don't have to. 12 velocity and pressure-sensitive pads with choice of 7 velocity curves will inspire you to play in ways you would never do on the keyboard. The pads are unbelievably easy to program using the “Learn Note” function. Press a pad, press a's that easy. 
The “Velocity Spread” feature quickly spreads one note across all 12 pads, each with its own fixed velocity, making it easier to create consistent and nuanced dynamics. 
The “Scale-Function” assigns each pad to pitches within any of the pre-defined 30+ scales. It's a quick and easy way to completely change pad assignments while freely changing intervals or transposing the whole set on the fly. Great for percussive performances with any keyboard sound as well as percussion. 
Reason devices such as ReDrum, Dr. Octo Rex and Kong are of course automatically assigned to pads in Panorama P4's Instrument mode with an additional 4 virtual pads available, when needed.
On the back of Panorama you find the connection points you need for foot controls, power and data including: 
USB Micro B for external power supply or additional power for the motorized fader (cable included) 
USB port for power and data connection to your computer 
5-pin MIDI din output port sending data either directly from the unit or from your DAW (working like a MIDI interface) 
Foot switch jack, assignable (pedal not included) 
Expression pedal jack, assignable (pedal not included) 
On/off switch
With Panorama we planned to set a new benchmark for how a controller keyboard should work with software. More daringly we also decided on an ID that's unlike anything else and yet retains many of the design characteristics of legacy electronic keyboards. A fusion of future and retro in one. To achieve this we had to design all parts from scratch. Nothing is off-the-shelf, not even the keybed which had to be custom designed to achieve the effect of the control panel floating in to the white keys. Sure, there are some compromises but we compromised deliberately and with what we think as the right trade-offs creating the best keyboard controller instrument
in its class.
Reason ready - Straight out of the box
Reason is so vast a DAW that most controller keyboards focus on controlling a 
subset of the many parameters. Panorama is different.
With its super transparent workflow, you are able to work with all controllable sections without having to reference your computer screen or reach for your mouse constantly. Simply select a menu and you have all available parameters automatically mapped and displayed clearly on Panorama's TFT screen including parameter names and values. 
Panorama is the closest you get to operating Reason as if its hardware.
Panorama's Reason control is activated with the mode buttons. Here you can switch between Mixer, Instrument and Transport modes to control different parts of Reason. One button press completely reconfigure Panorama's controls to focus on the selected mode. The 4th mode is Internal mode which takes you out of controlling Reason and allows you to use Panorama's internal MIDI control options to, for example, control a ReWired host DAW.
Navigation and parameter feedback makes all the difference to logical workflow. With Panorama you are never lost because all the important information is always right there, on the display. Here is an overview of how Reason parameters and menus are displayed.
At the top, the info-line shows the parameter name and value for the control you are moving. The info-bar shows important navigational information such as Track name, Mixer Channel number and Device name. Here is where you find the assignments for the menu you have selected. The menu's at the bottom shows what each of the 5 soft-key buttons below the display do. 
Panorama's navigation buttons are logically laid out and easy to get to. First there are 5 soft-key buttons under the display with functions that update depending on what menu you are in. The display tells you at any time either what parameter they control or what menu they will navigate to. 
The 6 navigation buttons below, lets you step through the Reason sequencers tracks which in turn can change what mixer channel the auto fader is controlling or what device is controlled in Instrument mode. The Patch -/+ buttons change the patch of the current device with an added bonus in Instrument mode where the Data Control can also be used to fast scroll through device patches. 
The view button changes what you see on your computer display with the mixer appearing in Mixer mode, the rack in Instrument mode and the sequencer appearing in Transport mode. 
Using the Shift button additional functionality allows you to bank over blocks of 8 channels in Mixer mode so you can change assignments of the fader group from say ch 1-8 to ch 9-16. And when you are working in the sequencer environment you can use the zoom buttons to zoom in and out of elements.
With its compact user interface and tactile control, Panorama gets to parameters so fast that it beats the mouse in most situations. 
You can control 8 channels at a time with the first 8 faders operates channel volume with the Bank> and Bank< navigating 8 channels forward or back. The 8 encoders above the faders control pan by default. Pressing the toggle button to the right of the encoders, change their assignments to any of the sends 1-8. 
The LED buttons below the faders can control solo or mute for the current block of 8 channels. A third option configures the buttons as Select buttons. A selected channel has access to the entire channel strip parameters. 
Screen image of what Reason parameters Panorama is controlling in blocks of 8 channels at a time.
Red: Top row of encoders using toggle button 
Blue: LED buttons 
Green: Faders
The 8 encoders to the right of the display controls EQ parameters by default and the rest of the channel strip parameters through the soft-key menus at the bottom of the display. 
Change the sequencer track and the channel strip follows but if you want to tweak the EQ on the kick drum track while continuing to play the bass line on your current sequencer track, just use the LED buttons for selecting the kick drum mixer channel and dial in the EQ.
Pressing the ‘EQ’ display button updates the screen to show the assignments of the 8 encoders to the right of the display. The main EQ section is laid out so all 4 main bands are accessible - gain and frequency can be adjusted easily. Two display buttons allow you to switch HF and LF Bell on and off whilst the first menu button toggles the EQ on and off. 
The Q button changes the assignments of two encoders so you now can adjust Q for the 2 mid bands. Pressing that button one more time will take the view back to the previous view. 
The ‘filter’ menu button shows the Lo and Hi Filter parameters giving you complete control of all 6 bands. 
You can get back to the main mixer view at any time by pressing the illuminated Mixer button above the display. Although the EQ page is in the display, the rest of the controls in the fader section continue to operate as described in part 1.
From the mixer home page you access the menus for dynamics, inserts and sends. Pressing the soft-key button for the Dynamics menu gain access to Compression and Gate in the Reason channel strip. With the display buttons compression and gate can now be switched on and off along with the Key button for side-chaining.
Back at the main mixer menu, the ‘Inserts’ menu button gains access to the 4 insert rotaries. You can also scroll through the various insert patches with the 5th encoder. Insert buttons 1-4 are mapped across the menu buttons, as well as ‘bypass’. 
The ‘Sends’ menu button gains access to… FX1-8 sends! Earlier we described how to control sends during multi-channel mixing but a channel strip would not be complete without the ability to control all 8 sends at the same time. The menu buttons allow you to select between FX1-8 levels, on/off toggle and pre-fader toggle.
The touch sensitive motorized fader is part of the channel strip. When you change sequencer track the fader therefore moves as channel volume changes from channel to channel. You can then move the fader to change volume setting or record automation. The two LED buttons follow the assignment of the motorized fader controlling Solo and Mute. You can even lock the motorized fader to a specific channel, master volume or control room. Whether you are in Transport, Mixer or Instrument mode, the motorized fader continues to give you pro-console channel control.
VU-style metering adds color and movement to the fader page.
And it tells you if your signal is clipping! 
Panorama's Instrument mode is a dream come true. Every controllable parameter on every device, are mapped out logically so you don't have to. 
Each device is presented in a home page that resembles a workstation environment.
Scroll through presets using the Data Control or Patch -/+ buttons or tweak the macro parameters assigned to the 8 encoders to the right of the display. Faders are by default assigned to envelopes (amp and filter on most devices). 
Controlling other parts of a device is easily done using the pop-up menu button. Let's take a look at an example to see how it all works. 
The mighty Thor is the largest and most comprehensive device in Reason and therefore illustrates perfectly how deep Panorama's Reason implementation is. Every single controllable parameter is mapped out from oscillators letting you change type to the modulation matrix and sequencer. 
The instrument home page display the status for the rotary and button macro controls as well as the most useful filter and oscillator parameters so you can tweak sounds without having to navigate deep in menus. The info-line displays the track name (Analog), the mixer channel the track device is routed to (Ch 14) and finally the device on the track (Thor). As you select different sections of Thor to control, the info-bar updates to show you where you are at all times
Pressing the menu button takes you deeper into Thor via a pop-up menu list so you can select exactly the area of Thor you want to work with. If, for example, Oscillators are selected, you will have access to all parameters related to Oscillator 1 and the option to toggle to Oscillator 2 and 3. The faders are still assigned to control Amp and Filter envelopes but if you want to see the status, you just select Envelopes from the pop-up menu. The right hand encoders remain assigned to the menu you operated most recently. Selecting LFOs works the same way with the parameters assigned for each LFO programmable by the 8 encoders and the ability to toggle to the next LFO. Notice that the right red Info-bar field display what menu you are in currently. It really is hard to get lost.
Thor Oscillator 1 - Type Wavetable selected Thor Envelopes - Amp and Filter selected Thor LFO 1 - Key Sync and Sync set to off
Percussion and loop devices such as Kong, Dr Octorex and ReDrum work in a similar but here percussion sounds or rex slices are automatically mapped out over the pads. Just start playing, there is no setup. The menus use the pads extensively to mute, solo or select patters where appropriate and you still have access to all the programable sections like you do with any other device.
Panorama can also control any of the many effects in Reason, as long as a track is created to route the mappings. For effects with presets, this is simply done by using a qwerty macro to create both effect and track with one button push. Now you can add effects and control them as you go without any interruptions. 
Another option is to use remote overide to setup your own permanent controls of an effect within any song. Panorama's entire section of 8 encoders, 9 faders and 8 LED buttons have been kept free for this purpose in Transport mode. In fact any controllable parameter within Reason can be assigned to these controls so if you want to have access to parameters for two or more devices at the same time and within easy reach, use the tranport mode for your customization. 
49 or 61 note weighted (semi-) velocity-sensitive keyboard w/aftertouch
5 velocity curves plus fixed
Pitch bend & Modulation assignable wheels
Octave shift buttons
PB1/2 buttons
4 keyboard zones programmable with controller filters and program changes
5 keyboard maps store all settings
Preset Controls
16 encoders
9 45mm faders
10 assignable LED buttons
11 dedicated transport buttons
20 preset locations store all settings including links to keyboard, pad and F-keys maps
System Requirements
Mac OS X 10.6 or higher, Windows Vista, 7 & 8 compatible (Windows XP is not supported at this time).
Reason 5, 6 and 6.5 supported
*Two USB ports or external USB power supply required to power entire unit. One USB port powers entire unit with the exception of the motorized fader Pads
12 pads with velocity and pressure sensitivity
7 velocity curves
Scale mode with 30+ scales and interval setting
Velocity spread functions spreads the selected pad assignment over all 12 pads, at different velocity levels
Transpose and Octave shift in both pad-map and scale mode
Pads freely assignable in Reason mode
Load or Save to any of 20 pad maps
11 assignable Function Keys (accessible using shift and tranport keys) 
Load or Save to any of 10 F-Keys maps
F-Keys assignable even in 3 Reason modes
Weight & Dimensions
Panorama P4
Dimensions: 33 2/8"(L) x 13"(D) 3 6/8"(H)
Weight: 14 Lbs
100 mm ALPS motorized fader*
6 dedicated assignable navigation buttons
ASCII/QWERTY macros assignable to buttons and pads
3.5” high-resolution TFT display provides incredible navigation and user visibility
Incredible Reason implementation that lets you use Reason, as if it's hardware
4 modes when used with Reason switch between Mixer, Instrument, Transport and Internal
Presets and setup files for major DAW's and VIs
Expression pedal 1/4" jack input (pedal not included)
Foot switch (sustain) 1/4" jack input (pedal not included)
MIDI output
USB port for communication with computer
USB Micro B connector for extra and external power*
Click an Image to Enlarge

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